Filthy Rich

June 29, 2018

Rich is a relative concept, depending on whether you are keeping up with the Jones’ or the Kardashians.

‘Rich’ is tribal…there is no rich line. We can gain some perspective on our richness, thanks to a handy little internet calculator at globalrichlist.com

This cool resource allows you to plug in wealth or income details and it will let you know the percentile you fall within, in terms of global wealth. It will even give you a competitive position across the global population. Most Australians will find themselves among the top few percentiles as the richest in the world.

(While you are on that website, it will also calculate the percentage of your overall wealth that $2.80 is and give you an opportunity to donate that to the good works of Care.org.)

I don’t know how to feel about being one of the richest people on the planet, based largely on where I live. Personal finances are about as private as my body mass index.

Rich is also taboo.

According to a Wells Fargo & Co Survey from 2014, 44% of Americans point to personal finances as the most ‘difficult conversation’ – above death, politics, religion and health.

As an open democracy, we talk about the finances of the nation, and we listen each year as a ‘budget’ highlights speech is given in parliament, but when it comes to our personal finances – it all goes quiet.

Why? Money is a scary topic of conversation because it is a form of shorthand to a person’s priorities and personal effectiveness. There could be a feeling of deficiency for not having enough money, or guilt for spending too much of it.

Silence about personal financial issues is also one of the biggest relationship stressors in Australia.

The counter-cultural instances where personal finances ARE spoken about are normally ridiculously unrelatable. Take this stellar financial advice I found in rap lyrics from Birdman:

“I am on a 24-hour champagne diet, spliilin’ while I’m sippin’; I encourage you to try it”

And this very unusual shopping item from Sean Combs (Aka P.Diddy):

I’m strictly tryin’ to cop those colossal-sized Picasso’s”

Granted, compared to sound wealth creation advice, copping colossal-sized Picasso’s does sound a tad sexier.

It is hard to sex-up solid financial planning advice like saving 10% of your income, having a 3 – 6 months of reserves funds for living expenses in case of a job loss or an illness, and finding a team of trusted advisors who can help you acquire and manage wealth and income producing assets, including a real estate agent, because in Australia, property is likely to form a big part of any wealth creation strategy.

Personal finances are the vehicle of our aspirations; so it is time to get uncomfortable and force ourselves to have a healthier relationship with money and to encourage our kids to understand and embrace it too.

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